It’s Time to Start Fostering and Adopting More Black Children  

Between October 2020 and September 2021, only 436 Black children were adopted throughout the state of Michigan. In total, 1,038 children were adopted over that course of time.  

November is National Adoption Month, a month dedicated to raise awareness to increase national knowledge of adoption issues, bring attention to the need for adoptive families for teens in the foster care system and emphasize the value of youth engagement.    

According to Ohio-based Specialized Alternatives for Families & Youth (SAFY), around seven million Americans in the United States are adopted and more than one-third of Americans have considered adoption, although only two percent have adopted a child. Presently, according to SAFY, there are over 400,000 children in foster care in the United States.   

Another 135,000 children are adopted annually in the country. According to SAFY statistics for those in the child welfare system:  

  • Males far outnumber females  
  • Black children are disproportionately represented  
  • Over half are six years or older  
  • The average age of a child waiting for adoption is eight years old  
  • Twenty-nine percent of adopted children will spend at least three years in the foster care system.  

Patricia Hatton-Street, Wayne County recruiter-support coordinator at the Judson Center, a non-profit human service agency, told the Michigan Chronicle that as a foster child who aged out of the system, she knows about the importance of adoption. Hatton-Street, who has four biological children, and is fostering a fifth child, said that her journey has always been passionate about helping people.  

“As a former foster kid, I know the importance of having a loving foster home and there are not enough homes,” Hatton-Street, 32, said.   

Hatton-Street was given up for adoption at just seven years old after her biological mother, who was a nurse-turned-drug addict, was unable to properly care for her and her siblings.  

“Growing up as a child you don’t understand the impact it can have on you down the road,” Hatton-Street said. “But understanding the feeling like being the oddball out. … You miss that familiar atmosphere of your loved ones.”  

Hatton-Street said that “neglectful environments” leave children confused and with a void that can result in the sometimes traumatic experiences of foster care that don’t always lead to adoption.   

“I aged out right before my 21st birthday,” Hatton-Street said, adding that afterward her life “took a lot of detours.”  

 “I experienced human trafficking and everything,” Hatton-Street said. “I was definitely in survival mode, and I didn’t think there were other options. When I knew better, I started doing better.”  

The then-mother of three children (before the age of 21) did her best to keep her family together – and she did it through odd jobs, self-employment and more.  

“I did the best I could as a single mom,” she said, adding that she hopes all children in the foster system become adopted one day, which she hopes to help do. “I would foster all of them if I could … but the way my husband is set up and our bank account …I don’t think it’s going to be happening right now.”  

President Joe Biden proclaimed November as National Adoption Month, which he said helps create safe and supportive homes and families that are made whole through adoption.  

“I am committed to helping families pay for the costs of adopting a child, which is why I have called for the adoption tax credit to be made fully refundable,” Biden said. “This would enable devoted adoptive families to worry less about the costs of welcoming children into their homes and focus more on laying the supportive foundation for full and happy lives. I have also proposed extending the adoption tax credit to legal guardianships — including grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives — which would make it easier for loving family members to care for children who need their support. This measure could also help reduce racial inequities in our country’s child welfare system, which too often render some children of color more likely to be removed from their homes and cut off from their families and communities.”  

 Biden’s Administration is also fighting discrimination in the adoption process.   

“As part of my Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals, we are partnering with state child welfare agencies to remove barriers and combat biases that can make it harder for LGBTQI+ families to adopt,” Biden said. “This National Adoption Month, we recognize all the adoptive and kinship families across America who change children’s lives for the better. We give thanks for the foster families who love, care for and provide for our nation’s foster youth as well as the dedicated professionals who are invested in these children’s futures. We send our encouragement to everyone still waiting for the chance to adopt and grow their family.”  

Hatton-Street said that out of the 13,000 children in need of a home in Michigan, a lot of them are older children, specifically high school-age, as well as very young children – not to mention an overwhelming number of Black children. Her mission is clear – to help as many youths as possible become adopted.  

“We’ll try to get out in the community and inform everyone [about the] need,” Hatton-Street said, adding that Black adoption in Black families is critical, too, particularly as it regards cultural connectivity.  

“No one’s going to understand us like us or love us like us,” she said.  

For more information, go to or find “African American Adoptions” on Facebook.  

Those interested in learning more about adopting in Michigan can reach out to an adoption navigator at 1-800-589-6273.   

Visit to learn more on adoption in Michigan. 



About Post Author

From the Web

Skip to content